Sunday, 14 May 2017

Has the Snake Turned me to the Dark Side?

Carousel Puzzle
This post will be a bit shorter than normal - I've had a central heating engineer here most of the day as our heating packed in. This means that I'm starting late. I was contacted by Kelly Snache (aka Kel Snake) a few weeks ago. He was touting his wares and knew how much I loved beautiful wood. He was right and I immediately collapsed and sent some PayPal. It is even nicer in real life than the photos show. It is also really quite large - at 13x22.5x12.8cm. Mrs S was immediately horrified: "where is it going to go?" I actually don't have a proper answer to that just now as a major reorganisation to create space is required for all my latest puzzles (most of the ones from this year).

I resolved that this puzzle was allowed because it was really a sequential discovery puzzle with a cavity but many of my puzzle friends seem to be unconvinced.

It comes with a sealed envelope with the solution which I was hoping not to have to open (hint - I was successful). There is a little play in the top section but it clearly won't come off. The cogs are on 2 levels and turn nicely. 2 cogs turn at any one time. Everything is gloriously made from what looks like Bloodwood and Walnut for the case itself and the mechanism is made from Yellowheart, Purpleheart, Wenge, Padauk and Maple. Kel has branded his snake icon onto the base with the number 1 of 6.

I have puzzle 1 of 6
The cogs turn fairly freely but every now and then one of them makes a metallic clicking noise and they also stiffen up periodically as if something is being pushed. But then it goes loose again with nothing externally changing. There doesn't appear to be much to do so I just twiddled for a while without really understanding what was going on.

After a bit I got bored with that and as nothing was happening I decided to explore elsewhere. Not a lot was possible until AHA! I found something new. It made a noise inside but didn't really seem to advance me much. I now had 3 things to explore and I did so for another half hour or so and again AHA! I found something new. It still didn't open and didn't even move at all but there was a 4th thing to play with. At this point I had a theory....I have no idea where it came from but I don't get them very often so I made the most of it. I'm not terribly bright you know?

I played with the 4 things in a certain way and suddenly I had a loosening of the top but only in one place and not far enough for me to peek inside or open it. But my theory had been proven to be true and I tried to continue with it. The cat on my lap was not impressed when the box dropped on him - in fact he was so unimpressed that he scratched my lap as he shot off! As well as being quite big, it's also quite heavy!

I had a cavity in my puzzle!
The interior shows the locking method (tabs on each edge) and reveals that it has been lined with a paper printed with old tickets for trains and trams from the region where Kel lives. It really is very attractive.

I might be able to store something inside my cavitated puzzle.
At this point I was able to have a proper look at the mechanism and establish exactly what I had done and how it worked. I love it when all is revealed. I have taken a photo of the interior mechanism which is obviously a spoiler DON'T look at it if you don't want to see how it works! You have been warned.



So do I collect boxes? I would still have to say NO! I will collect something with a cavity that is box shaped IF it is sufficiently beautiful and IF it has something very special to it in terms of mechanism and IF it is made by someone special (like Rob Yarger, Kel Snache, Wil Strijbos). But I maintain that I am NOT a box collector and I am sticking to that story!

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